Do You Focus on Time Management or Energy Management?

Time management has been a buzz phrase and the title of countless books and workshops for more than a decade. So why don’t we manage our time very well?  How many times have you said “Gee I wish there were more than 24 hours in the day?” Time is a finite unit of measure and yet our task list frequently exceeds the time available.

Enter Steve Wanner, the subject of a study that is reviewed in a white paper available from Harvard Business Review. Steve had an executive position and was working 12-14 hours a day. He didn’t have time for family or exercise or sleep or eating right.  Sound familiar?

Through an energy study, Wanner made changes in his life that positively changed his life:

To effectively reenergize their workforces, organizations need to shift their emphasis from getting more out of people to investing more in them, so they are motivated—and able—to bring more of themselves to work every day. To recharge themselves, individuals need to recognize the costs of energy-depleting behaviors and then take responsibility for changing them, regardless of the circumstances they’re facing.

The rituals and behaviors Wanner established to better manage his energy transformed his life. He set an earlier bedtime and gave up drinking, which had disrupted his sleep. As a consequence, when he woke up he felt more rested and more motivated to exercise, which he now does almost every morning. In less than two months he lost 15 pounds. After working out he now sits down with his family for breakfast. Wanner still puts in long hours on the job, but he renews himself regularly along the way. He leaves his desk for lunch and usually takes a morning and an afternoon walk outside. When he arrives at home in the evening, he’s more relaxed and better able to connect with his wife and children.

Establishing simple rituals like these can lead to striking results across organizations.

You can read the complete study at Harvard Business Review by clicking Manage Your Energy Not Your Time.  However, in order to read the complete article (11 pages) you will need to sign up on Harvard Business Review. You can sign up and access three articles per month for no charge. Or down load the PDF of this study for $6.95 from Harvard Business Review.

Bottom line: we all need to take a look at our energy levels.  Are we just adding hours to our work day, falling into bed exhausted and with very little time for family or health?   Here are a few free articles that offer some suggestions for ways to improve your energy levels.:

Scott Young offers 10 tips to improve your energy levels.

Dr Lissa Rankin offers 7 surefire tips to improve your energy levels.

Karen VanNess talks about the Importance of Posture for Positive Energy.